Best Practices For Taking Deposits
Some companies require a deposit from their clients when their clients are requesting services, or require them for clients who need multiple events (for example, vacations or week-long work trips). In this article, we'll discuss how to do this in Time To Pet.
It's important to note that clients can't make a partial payment in the app, partial payments can only be made in the Client Portal.
Requiring A Payment Method On File
While it's not possible to require a deposit when a client is booking service, it is possible to require a payment method is on file before a client can request services. The "Require Credit Card to Request Services" setting is located in the Scheduling section in Client Settings - Portal Settings:
The Client Invoice Message And Invoice Note
We recommend adding a note about your company's deposit policy to your Client Invoice Message email in Settings - Messaging and to your default Invoice Note in Settings - Invoice. You might also consider adding messaging for your clients to pay the deposit through the portal as partial payments cannot be made on the app. It's also possible to add a custom message on the Service Request Form in both the portal and the app, this setting is the "Portal & App - Service Request Form" in Settings - Messaging.
Here, we'll show an example of how this process would work in Time To Pet. In this example, the company's policy is 50% of the total invoice is due the day services are requested, and the balance is due the day services start.
Steve Jones has requested dog walks on May 20th for the week of June 1st-5th. We're processing the request on May 20th, and according to the company's deposit policy, 50% is due on May 20th and the balance is due on June 1st, the day services start. Just as a reminder, we have a help article on Pending Requests which goes over processing requests.
Here is the original request from the client:
This is the approval screen after the request has been processed. Click on the "Invoice" button with the calendar to pull up this service order:
The service order is now showing on the screen. Click on the invoice number to open the invoice:
The Edit Invoice screen is open, and it's now possible to change the date of the invoice, the due date of the invoice, and then email the invoice to the client for payment. Here, we've changed the invoice due date to May 20th so the invoice will show that it is due on the client's end. After changing the due date, click "Email" to email the invoice to the client:
This is what the client will see in the Invoices tab of their Portal. The client will first need to click "Make A Payment", and then they can edit the payment to 50% of the invoice and follow the steps to submit their payment:
Now that the client has paid their 50% deposit, we'll go ahead and change the invoice due date to June 1st since the company policy is 50% due at the time the request is made, and the balance is due the day services start, June 1st:
Here is the final result. The client has made a partial payment (50% deposit) and we have changed the due date to Jun 1st, the day services are set to begin for this client:
While the client can pay the balance on their invoice at any time, the invoice shows that it is due on June 1st.